The ‘Arab Spring’ began in January of 2011. The mainstream media cheered. Here we are in June of 2012 and the BBC is finally starting to scratch its head while saying, ‘Gee, duh, maybe we were wrong. Duh.’
Via the Daily Mail:
The BBC’s coverage of the Arab Spring has been heavily criticised – by the corporation’s bosses.
Head of news Helen Boaden admitted that her journalists got carried away with events and produced ‘over-excited’ reports.
She told a BBC Trust report that in Libya, where reporters were ‘embedded’ with rebels, they may have failed to explore both sides of the story properly.
Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen was among those criticised in the study into coverage of the uprisings, which found that ‘excitement’ did sometimes ‘infect’ the reporting, which some viewers described as ‘too emotive’ and ‘veering into opinion’.
The document, published yesterday, also raised concerns about the corporation’s use of footage filmed on mobile phones and other user-generated content. It noted that the BBC failed to warn viewers with ‘caveats’ about the ‘authenticity’ of such footage in 74 per cent of cases.
It also warned that the corporation ignored events in some countries as it concentrated on ‘big’ stories.
Miss Boaden is quoted saying: ‘In the conflict in Egypt in the beginning . . . we might have sounded over-excited – you can take on the colour of who you’re with. I had to say “just be careful about your tone”.
‘In Libya too, where we were essentially embedded [with the rebels] at the start, we might have sounded over-excited – you have to be careful if you can’t get to the other side of the story.’
While the report found that overall the BBC’s coverage was ‘generally impartial’, it did raise concerns about aspects of its reporting.
Unlike John McCain, it appears that the BBC has admitted it was wrong about the ‘Arab Spring’.